Toby Young: ‘I want to put some private schools out of business’

The TES is reporting that Toby Young, the journalist and founder of the West London Free School, has said he wants to “put some private schools out of business” by offering a better alternative.

Speaking at the Independent Schools Show in London last weekend, Mr Young said he was trying to persuade parents that “they would be wasting their money if they sent [their children] to independent schools”.

He said evidence suggested privately educated pupils did not earn sufficiently higher salaries, compared with those educated in the state sector, to justify the costs of private education.

“My object is to put some private schools out of business – not all, but some – by persuading parents that their children would be better off, and they would be wasting their money if they sent them to independent schools,” he said.

He added that he did not want private schools to be abolished or to lose their charitable status, which brings tax breaks, because he wanted state schools to beat private schools “on a level playing field”.

“I want to be able to show parents that actually, all things being equal, their children would be better off at a good state school than even at a good independent school,” Mr Young said…

More at: Free school founder Toby Young: ‘I want to put some private schools out of business’


Do you applaud the aspiration of Toby Young to help develop state schools that are so desirable to parents that they help put some private schools out of business?

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Categories: Free Schools, Policy and Private Schools.


  1. Perhaps Young is realising at last what the OECD found five years ago – that UK state schools outperform private ones when socio-economic background is taken into account.  In other words, the private schools ‘advantage’ comes from their intake.
    That said, Young unashamedly pushed ‘private school’ as a USP for his West London Free School.  It would be like a private school not like the state school down the road.  And WLFS exhibits the trappings of a private school – uniform from the same supplier as Eton and Harrow; compulsory Latin; terms called ‘Michaelmas’, ‘Lent’ and ‘Trinity’; a portentous motto (in Latin).

  2. E_Houghton

    SchoolsImprove Bring it! Sadly some people are stupid enough to go for the expensive option even when the quality is substantially lower

  3. AlfredoNokez1

    He’s right. Why pay for a private school when you can set one up for free at taxpayers’ expense & decide admittance rules

Let us know what you think...